Toupees are a convenient solution to male-pattern baldness, by covering the bald part of the scalp with a synthetic- or natural-hair substitute. Take some time and effort to pick the right toupee, however: the right one will leave most people unsuspecting while the wrong one will only accentuate your state of denial.
Here are tips in buying a toupee:
- Choose a budget. Toupees come in a range of prices, and the more you pay for it, the better it looks.
- Search online. You can find toupee makers in your location by looking in electronic yellow pages. You can also ask for recommendations from your stylist. Other places to look are stores affiliated with cancer institutes, which provide hair substitutes for those undergoing therapy. Inquire if there’s a possibility to try own hairpieces or return it if it proves unsatisfying. Your last buy is to look for pre-owned toupees on classified ads or online auction websites. Find out the terms and conditions with regards to purchase.
- Inquiry about the level of privacy for fittings. As wearing a toupee is an act of concealment, you want only a few people to know about your usage. Ask if the toupee maker gives home fittings. Fittings can also be performed in a mall kiosk, wig shop or hair salon; they are provided for free if they are the same place where you bought the item. The most private fitting is the one you perform on yourself; however, your toupee may not come off naturally.
- Choose between human or synthetic hair. Synthetic hair is more affordable and easier to maintain, manage and style. However, natural hair looks more realistic but is more expensive.
- Select between machine- or hand-made. Hand-made toupees take longer to create but are your best bet for naturally-looking and acting hair. Machine-made varieties are cheaper and readily available, but can look strange when worn incorrectly.
- Match the right hair color. Bring someone close to you to check if the color and texture looks right for you.
- View your hair from different angles and lighting conditions. Take photographs of your head to examine the fit and style of your hairpiece before purchase. Take your time to consider your options and ask any questions you have to your toupee vendor.
- Purchase additional accessories and supplies. Velcro adhesives, toupee brush, shampoo and conditioner and storage containers are among the optional products that will help you maintain your hairpiece.
- Consider your toupee as a tax-deductible expense. If you are buying a hairpiece as part of your chemotherapy, toupees may be regarded as a business expense under tax laws. You can also ask your health insurance company to subsidize the cost by letting your physician sign it off as hair prosthesis.
The best time to purchase a toupee is before you lose too much of your own hair. That way, the transition is less obvious, and you can match it to your own hair style. While buying and maintaining a hairpiece can be expensive, it may be better than the hairless alternative.